Sowing the Seeds of Love (Edamame & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

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Look what I found! What are they, you ask? They’re seeds! Lots and lots of seeds! Tomato seeds, zucchini seeds, pepper seeds and lettuce seeds. There are even packets of unidentified seeds that will have to be planted before I can learn what they are. Aren’t they wonderful? They may not be pretty, but to me, they are more precious than gold. Why am I going on and on about a pile of dried up old vegetable seeds? Well, allow me to explain.

A few weeks ago Chez SGCC held a huge garage sale. It was a long time coming! In preparation, Mr. SGCC and I spent a ton of time cleaning out our garage. While weeding through boxes of things that were long ago forgotten, I came across a dirty old plastic bucket filled with several jars, envelopes and zip lock bags filled with – you guessed it – seeds. I knew that I hadn’t put it there, so I asked my sometimes-better half about it. What he told me blew my mind!

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Most of my regular readers know that my dear father passed away in November, 2006. A few months later, my mother invited all of the “men” in the family, (my brother, uncle, some cousins and Mr. SGCC) over to go through Dad’s plethora of tools, gadgets and assorted other “stuff” in their garage. She wouldn’t need them anymore.

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Dad had been a contractor by trade and was also an avid gardener. Mr. SGCC stood by and let everyone else scoop up all of the shiny new toys, many with the store tags still attached. He had his eye on something else. In the corner, sad and forgotten, sat a banged-up, rusty old toolbox. It looked ancient! The box was filled with a bunch of equally banged-up, rusty old tools. It was my father’s very first set of tools that he bought over fifty years ago when he first came to this country. These were the tools that he actually used. Those were the tools that Mr. SGCC wanted.

You see, once he became older and more successful, my father usually hired someone to do the repairing and fixing up. He continued to update his collection with lots of new things because…..well….. because that’s what men do. Even so, he always preferred his old tools. They were comfortable and familiar. They fit in his hands just right. I suspect that they were also a sweet reminder of where he began and how far he’d come.

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Back in that same corner of the garage, covered with dust and cobwebs, Mr. SGCC also found that old bucket of seeds. They were the seeds that my dad had carefully preserved out of the harvests from his garden. They were the seeds that he dried in the sun and was saving, waiting to plant during the next growing season, except he never got the chance. Mr. SGCC knew that I would want to have them.

I remember how touched I was when my husband brought that toolbox home. He knew how much it would mean to me to have it. I lovingly ran my hands over each tool, remembering all the times that I acted as my father’s “assistant” as a little girl, handing him his hammer or his screwdriver as he puttered around the house. Holding those tools was like holding a piece of him close to me. I guess I was so caught up in my memories that I never heard Mr. SGCC tell me about the seeds. And for all that time, I never noticed them sitting in our garage.

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Of course, I know what I have to do. I have to plant those seeds. So, as soon as it gets a bit cooler, I’ll clear a little patch in my garden and sow my seeds of love. I don’t know if anything will actually grow. The seeds are over two years old. But, wouldn’t it be wonderful if something did?

My father grew all sorts of wonderful fruits and vegetables in his garden. He had the Midas touch! The most sought after of his crops were his tomatoes. There were always several different varieties growing, each as sweet and juicy as could be. Among them, we had beefsteaks for sandwiches, Romas for sauce and cherries for salads. Long after I was married with my own garden to tend, I’d make frequent trips, with basket in hand to stock up on Dad’s ripe, plump tomatoes, fresh from the vine and still warm from the sun. I’d tried my hand at growing my own, but somehow, they never tasted half as good.

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I was so spoiled all those years! Now that he’s gone, I have to buy my tomatoes like the average schlub. Decent ones are almost impossible to find around here, even at the farmers’ market. When I do come across some good ones, I almost always opt to use them very simply in a salsa cruda (raw sauce) or a salad.

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I made this fresh and vibrant Edamame & Heirloom Tomato Salad several weeks ago to go with my Misoyaki Salmon. I used some beautiful heirloom tomatoes of assorted shapes, colors and sizes. I tossed them an a light lemon-miso vinaigrette along with steamed edamame, scallions and a chiffonade of shiso leaves. It made a lovely accompaniment to the salmon. There are no hard and fast measurements for this dish. As with most of my salads, I just throw in what I have and toss it all together. Hopefully, the next time I make it, I’ll be able to use my own tomatoes, grown with love from my fathers seeds.

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Enjoy!

BLOGIVERSARY BASH UPDATE!!!

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Submissions for the 1st Annual SGCC Blogiversary Bash have been rolling in. My mouth has been watering as I’ve been going through them. This is going to be one fabulous buffet! Thanks to all of you who have already sent in your entries. They are wonderful!

There is still plenty of time to RSVP for the party. You can find all of the details here. I’d love to see you all there. The more, the merrier!

flip-video-ultraSML

 

The other day, I told you about the Flip Ultra Video that I’ll be giving away to one lucky guest. I’ve also got some other great party gifts lined up, and I’d like to reveal a few more of those to you now.

 

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Christopher Styler’s Working the Plate: The Art of Food Presentation is a step-by-step recipe manual for home cooks interested in making their dishes look as good as they taste. In the book, Styler describes seven distinctive plating styles, from Minimalist to Naturalist to Dramatic, with several examples of each. Each plating suggestion is accompanied by clear instructions and color photos of step-by-step instructions and finished plates. The book also includes essays on plating from ten leading chefs and recipes for the dishes featured. Working the Plate is sure to be a great addition to any food blogger’s library!

 

marthacookie

Who hasn’t heard of Martha Stewart’s Cookies? It is fast becoming an indispensable resource for bakers. Cleverly organized by texture, this book contains 175 recipes and variations that showcase all kinds of flavors and fancies with detailed recipes and lush photos. Just in time for the Holidays, one lucky party guest will take this one home!

 

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With football season upon us, everyone will want this great cookbook. Team by team and city by city, the NBC Sunday Night Football Cookbook celebrates the special dishes, unique flavors, and most famous chefs of the NFL’s 31 cities. Among the all-star chefs contributing recipes are Daniel Boulud, Jean-Robert de Cavel, Christopher Wilson, Susan Goss, and more. No tailgate party would be complete without this culinary playbook, and it could be yours!!!

Now, if all this isn’t enough to spur you into action, I’ve still got a few more tricks up my sleeve to be revealed later. The thing is, you can only be eligible to win one of these party gifts if you bring a dish or drink to the party! So, what are you waiting for?

 

66 responses to Sowing the Seeds of Love (Edamame & Heirloom Tomato Salad with Lemon-Miso Vinaigrette)

  1. On September 10, 2008 at 6:27pm, haleysuzanne said...

    What a lovely salad! The colors are amazing, and it sounds just as tasty, too! I’m working up a tasty submission for you party – until then, have fun preparing!

  2. On September 10, 2008 at 6:32pm, Anonymous said...

    Your story was so touching, I’m sitting here with tears rolling down my face. How wonderful that you have such special items from your fathers life.

  3. On September 10, 2008 at 6:51pm, Bridgett said...

    Wow, what a wonderful story! Your father sounds a lot like my grandfather and my father. It is funny how attached men get to their tools!

  4. On September 10, 2008 at 7:22pm, Sarah said...

    What a sweet husband! And what a beautiful story. Those seeds are such a treasure…I hope that they grow many wonderful things for you! The tomatoes in your salad look lovely but I’m sure your future tomatoes will be even better. :)

  5. On September 10, 2008 at 7:30pm, Jen Yu said...

    I love when you write about your father. He cuts such a handsome figure in all of your photos of him. Mr. SGCC gets major points for holding on to the things that matter and knowing what you would treasure the most. Just remember that the wonderful man who was your father still lives on in you, my dear. What a fantastic girl he raised too. xxoo (I am drooling over those tomatoes).

  6. On September 10, 2008 at 7:36pm, Manggy said...

    Izzat you in the left picture as a baby? Awww! Anyway, I hope you have inherited your dad’s Midas touch… Crossing my fingers!
    I’ve only recently tried edamame and I love it! The salad looks delicious, even with the “plain” heirloom tomatoes, hee :)

  7. On September 10, 2008 at 8:43pm, The Food Librarian said...

    What a touching tribute to your father. He raised a wonderful caring daughter.

  8. On September 10, 2008 at 8:46pm, Cookie baker Lynn said...

    What a blessing to have such a wonderful way to remember your father. I wish you every success with your tomatoes!

  9. On September 10, 2008 at 9:48pm, PheMom said...

    The salad looks great, but it was the seeds that caught my eye. Your husband is one heck of a wonderful guy! Thank you for sharing the memories – it is those kind of seemingly small moments and things in life that help me get through – it is wonderful to know that others “get” that.

  10. On September 11, 2008 at 12:58am, Nina Timm said...

    This is such a beautiful story, I was sitting here sniffing when my dad phoned to say that my mom has bee admitted to hospital…I thought they would never grow old…..damn!!!!!
    I am so excited about the party I cannot tell you!!!

  11. On September 11, 2008 at 5:41am, WE Are Never Full said...

    what a beautiful story. you’re dad looked like he was a guy i’d like! i’mkeeping my fingers crossed that those seeds work.

  12. On September 11, 2008 at 6:37am, joanne at frutto della passione said...

    What an amazing story and what an amazing guy mr sgcc is! I really want to participate in your party but it will have to wait until this weekend. I am still jetlagged and my house is a disaster! Looking forward to it though!

  13. On September 11, 2008 at 6:40am, veron said...

    What a beautiful story, reminded me of my dad who has passed away a couple of years ago. This salad looks awesome!

  14. On September 11, 2008 at 6:52am, Jen of A2eatwrite said...

    Oh, Susan, what a lovely story. Mr. SGCC sounds like a real gem, along with your father.

  15. On September 11, 2008 at 7:10am, Patricia Scarpin said...

    That is such a beautiful post, Susan.
    I can relate a bit, when I go through a couple of things I kept after my mother died. I’m glad I have them around, you know. Like your toolbox and the seeds, they are treasures to me. :)
    And that salad looks delicious, so fresh!

  16. On September 11, 2008 at 7:39am, Candy said...

    What a nice surprise! That salad looks perfect for today.

  17. On September 11, 2008 at 7:44am, Bellini Valli said...

    I really hope that your garden grows Susan. Wouldn’t that be something as a tribute to your dad. This was a very touching post Susan..bad to have me tearing up before I go to work:D

  18. On September 11, 2008 at 8:12am, Mike of Mike's Table said...

    That’s a touching story. I hope the seeds do well next year :)

  19. On September 11, 2008 at 8:13am, Simply...Gluten-free said...

    What a lovely post. Please tell me how you garden here in Florida. I have been completely unsuccessful in every attempt. In California we had a great garden but here nothing but failure. I spent $00.00 in raising bed, soil, etc and got 1 tomato! The most expensive tomato in history. What do I need to do?

  20. On September 11, 2008 at 8:31am, StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

    To all of you- Thanks so much for your lovely comments. I’m a little verklempt reading them and knowing that you understand. Finding those seeds was a very emotional moment for me. Mr. SGCC scored big points for finding them! Gardening was one of my dad’s true joys in life and I know how much time and care he must have put into preserving them. You can be sure that I will let you know when I get them planted. I hope to blog about their progress too. Keep your fingers crossed!

    Glad you all liked the salad too! I had never used shiso before, but had heard a lot about it. When I saw it at the Asian market, I had to try some. It added a very interesting “bite” to the dish. I’ve rooted a sprig of it and hopefully, will get some to grow.

    Haley- I can’t wait to see what you come up with for the buffet!

    Anonymous- I’m passing the Kleenex! ;)

    Bridgett- True. Especially the men that are tools! ;)

    Sarah- Thank you. I hope they do too.

    Jen- You always know the right thing to say to make me smile. Dad was a very handsome guy. He used to get mistaken for the famous actor Rossano Brazzi (South Pacific) all the time. Strange women were always slipping him their phone numbers. My mother would get so mad! ;)

    Manggy- Yup, that’s me at about 3 months.

    Nina- Uh oh! I hope everything turns out okay. Sending prayers.

    Joanne- Just do the best you can. You can also use a dish you’ve already posted about, if you run out of time.

    Veron- Sorry about your dad. I know how tough it is.

    Jen- Yes, Mr. SGCC has his moments! ;)

    Patricia- I thought of you as I wrote this post. They really are treasures. Just having them is like being able to keep a little piece of our loved ones with us.

    Val- Yikes! I’m passing you the Kleenex too!

    SGF- I’m no expert, but I’m trying to learn. My uncle is going to help me when he gets back from Italy. I’ll keep you posted.

  21. On September 11, 2008 at 9:03am, Anita said...

    What a lovely tribute to your father. You were lucky to have him as a dad, and vice versa! I’ll be submitting something for your blogiversary soon!

  22. On September 11, 2008 at 9:07am, Proud Italian Cook said...

    Mr. SGCC gets my vote for sure! He surely knows his wife! That was a touching post Susan. Thanks for sharing with us. what a handsome man your father was, and how proud he looked on your wedding day!

  23. On September 11, 2008 at 9:26am, Sandy Smith said...

    Guess what I found in my basement this summer? Seeds from my grandmother’s dill plants, wrapped in a little cloth bundle. She passed away in 2001, shortly after 9/11, so these seeds are practically antique! I planted a few, and just last week, a few tiny sprouts emerged . . . Oma’s dill plants live again!

    Wishing you much success with those precious seeds of yours!

  24. On September 11, 2008 at 9:37am, Deborah said...

    What a touching story. Thank you for sharing!

  25. On September 11, 2008 at 10:12am, Judy@nofearentertaining said...

    What an incredible story! Finding a treasure like that is so wonderful. Can’t wait until you plant them and find out what they all are!

  26. On September 11, 2008 at 10:15am, Lucy said...

    Thats a really touching story – my Dad is just like that with his garden tools! He was devastated when we had builders in and they ruined his careful garden!

    Wow I cant wait for your blogiversary!

  27. On September 11, 2008 at 10:19am, The Blonde Duck said...

    You have a very wise husband! :) How sweet to have your father’s old tools!

  28. On September 11, 2008 at 10:52am, Grace said...

    three cheers for mr sgcc, and three cheers for your pop. i hope you have your very own maters this time next year. :)

  29. On September 11, 2008 at 11:06am, Maria said...

    What a great story! Your salad is so gorgeous!! I can’t wait to make this one!
    I still need to sign up! I am out of town and crazy busy, but I hope I can make time soon! what a fun event!

  30. On September 11, 2008 at 11:27am, Nicole said...

    Great post! I think the seed look beautiful. It reminds me of a Martha Stewart spread or something. Very cool. Can’t wait to hear what may grow from it all.

  31. On September 11, 2008 at 12:35pm, Emiline said...

    Well, I think I’ll have to bring a dish to the party! Sounds fabulous! What great gifts. Oh crap….maybe I can’t.
    I’m going out of town.

    I love the story of your dad’s toolbox.
    I hope the seeds will grow.

  32. On September 11, 2008 at 2:24pm, The Food Hunter said...

    That is such a loving story of your father. I hope you get lots of vegetables from those seeds.

  33. On September 11, 2008 at 4:19pm, Andrew's Mom said...

    Such a beautiful story about your father. I have a hard time fully understanding the love and loss of a parent. While I know my parents both suffered from mental illness and did the best they could, I never felt the mother/daughter – father/daughter love. I felt nothing but relief when they passed – like a huge burden had been lifted. It is stories like yours that help me understand it a little bit more. Happy Blogiversary!

  34. On September 11, 2008 at 6:51pm, Artstudio Sri Lanka said...

    Good Quality Tv Brackets,TV Wall Mounts

  35. On September 12, 2008 at 3:42am, kittie said...

    That is a beautiful post and a lovely story.

    I’m glad I’ve been paired with you – I’m off for a proper wander round your blog now!

    Your adoptee blogger,
    – Kittie!

  36. On September 12, 2008 at 6:50am, The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

    What a great story. I know those seeds will grow you a beautiful bounty.

    I’m testing my blogiversary bash recipe tonight. I have my fingers crossed that it will be good to go in time.

  37. On September 12, 2008 at 11:55am, noble pig said...

    Loved, loved the story! Thank you!

  38. On September 12, 2008 at 12:46pm, Darius T. Williams said...

    Great story…but um, lemon-miso? Really? Hmmm….

    -DTW
    http://www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

  39. On September 12, 2008 at 1:12pm, J.Danger said...

    I cant wait to see what grows from those seeds-

  40. On September 12, 2008 at 7:07pm, Tartelette said...

    What a wonderful discovery! Loved your post Susan and I am looking forward to what the seeds give you in memories and produce!

  41. On September 13, 2008 at 5:02am, Foodycat said...

    How beautiful! And Mr SGCC sounds like a very lovely man to be so thoughtful.

  42. On September 13, 2008 at 10:39am, Passionate About Baking said...

    How nice Mr SGCC is…that ole tool box reminds me of my father's tool box…his first rusty ole one, which he still has. It creaks open, & sits in an old cobwebby corner but he won't part with it. And guess what, he's got a green thumb too & collects seeds year after year & can never find them when the season begins & we've got the flower beds ready! What a heart-warming & beautiful story yours is…I love seeds & yes, they are gold to me too! Pretty salad in a beautiful bowl Susan…I'm getting my post together for your party! Cheers Deeba

  43. On September 13, 2008 at 12:17pm, Heather said...

    those tomatoes are amazingly beautiful!

  44. On September 13, 2008 at 3:40pm, Sara said...

    I wouldn’t have thought to combine tomatoes with edamame, I will give this a try!

  45. On September 13, 2008 at 10:22pm, Amber said...

    Oh my, you can sure make my eyes drippy. I thought your post about moving to Florida was sweet but the photos of you and your dad and then what an amazing husband you have, I am so touched. You are very blessed to have such wonderful memories. Oh and I hope to have an amazing husband next time.

  46. On September 14, 2008 at 9:51am, Lisa magicsprinkles said...

    What a touching story. My eyes are a little misty from reading about your dad and the thoughtfulness of your husband. Both sound like really special men. You are so blessed. I hope that the seeds do sprout and that you have a refreshed happiness from them.

  47. On September 14, 2008 at 5:29pm, Cynthia said...

    I did not realise that there were tears in my eyes until a drop fell on my shirt.

    Do you plan to soak the seeds in a little water before planting them? I read that tip somewhere.

  48. On September 14, 2008 at 11:05pm, Farmer Jen said...

    Mr. SGCC sounds like a wonderful, thoughtful and sentimental guy. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Your salad looks great!

  49. On September 15, 2008 at 2:53am, Passionate About Baking said...

    Hi Susan,Sent some finger-food for your bash day before, but I’m not sure the mail got to you. Here’s the link just in case
    http://passionateaboutbaking.blogspot.com/2008/09/chicken-reshmi-kebabssimply-sublime-off.html

    Cheers Deeba

  50. On September 15, 2008 at 4:56am, Maya said...

    We kept my dad;s toolbox around for years. My mother could not bear to part with it. My brother has it now.

  51. On September 15, 2008 at 7:00am, Cakelaw said...

    What a beautiful story, and how wonderful to have your father’s seeds to plant to continue on with his legacy. Delicious looking salad too – perfect for summer.

  52. On September 15, 2008 at 8:54am, kellypea said...

    The salad looks and sounds delicious, but your father’s tools and seeds? You’ve squeezed my heart this morning. I know you’ll have a lovely garden, and hopefully, more seeds to look forward to each year. Lovely.

  53. On September 15, 2008 at 9:32am, LyB said...

    Oh, Susan that is such a great story. When my grandfather, my mom’s dad, passed away, there was something very specific I wanted to remember him by, and that was a cookbook. A very old cookbook but the only one he used. There are annotations in it and scraps of paper he used to mark the pages and take little notes. It’s quite special. I really hope your seeds grow into beautiful veggies full of love! :)

  54. On September 15, 2008 at 9:13pm, Kristen said...

    Working on my post now! :)
    BTW – you have to read this post on my moms blog…reminds me of the seeds you have of your dads. Read your post with tears in my eyes! Thanks for sharing it.
    http://patwogan.wordpress.com/2008/08/15/a-circle-of-friendship/

  55. On September 15, 2008 at 11:00pm, Heather said...

    Goodness, where do you get all those nifty prizes?

    I love the heirloom tomatoes – they’re exploding all over the place today. The story, though, really got me. So touching. I think you should plant some of those seeds and see what happens.

  56. On September 15, 2008 at 11:05pm, alexandra's kitchen said...

    That’s such a nice story. What a great find, too! those seeds are like gold. I mean people devote their lives to saving seeds. I wish you all the best in planting them.

    I am looking forward to participating in the blogiversary, but I need to come up with a dish first!

  57. On September 15, 2008 at 11:21pm, RecipeGirl said...

    what a sweet story. I’ll be crossing my fingers for you that those seeds grow into something fabulous!

  58. On September 16, 2008 at 1:58am, casalba said...

    A truly touching story. I was also very moved and I wish you every success with the seeds. Wouldn’t that be absolutely amazing?

  59. On September 16, 2008 at 8:32am, alexandra's kitchen said...

    oops, just read the details. looks like I missed the deadline! Next year, I’ll play. have a great party!

  60. On September 16, 2008 at 9:59am, Nate-n-Annie said...

    How lucky you are to have such a thoughtful husband.

    I have read “Working the Plate” and think it’s an excellent resource. While it is more about styling and presentation, it does make you think more about how to arrange a plate for more attractive photography.

  61. On September 16, 2008 at 10:38am, Lori Lynn said...

    What an absolutely lovely sorry. Clearly the men in your life are very special. You are one lucky lady.

    Best of luck with your seeds, I hope we get to see your beautiful garden in the future.

  62. On September 17, 2008 at 7:49am, hot garlic said...

    Oh wow, what a story! What a treasure, seriously!

    This salad looks incredible. All of the flavors sound delicious, and I even love that cute bowl you served it in!

    Happy Blogsiversary!

  63. On September 17, 2008 at 8:38am, Hillary said...

    I am so impressed and touched that your husband brought your father’s seeds home! That is such a nice story and I hope they grow into some beautiful produce!

  64. On September 17, 2008 at 4:47pm, Lisa said...

    What a beautiful story! And your salad is beautiful too, so beautiful that I had to give it a try, and I’m glad I did. It is really an inspired combination. The link to my effort is noted below. Thanks for sharing.

  65. On September 17, 2008 at 5:54pm, Laura said...

    You can imagine that since my mom is the kind of person who grows her own black beans (and for that matter also collects heirloom tomato seeds like crazy) that I think that is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. Bless your husband and I am glad you found the seeds.

  66. On September 19, 2008 at 12:18pm, Wandering Chopsticks said...

    Those seeds and that tool box are so precious. I love the story about your dad. I know things are just things, but they take on such significance when they remind me of a loved one.

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kiss the cook!

Hello and welcome to SGCC! I’m Susan, a professional writer, food columnist, recipe developer, wife, mother, daughter and sister, who used to be a lawyer in a previous life. My love of food comes from a long line of wonderful and creative Italian home cooks who didn’t always have a lot, but knew how to make a lot out of what they had. I hope that you enjoy yourself while you’re here, and visit often! read more >>

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